The Web3/Crypto/Metaverse Ecosystem Guide — From the Minds of Lightspeed

Here’s how to get up to speed in web3/crypto/metaverse

Mercedes Bent
Lightspeed Venture Partners


You’ve been hearing a lot about crypto and are wondering where to get started. Or maybe if you’re like us, you’ve spent your days, evenings, weekends and holidays getting up to speed. The crypto community is one where the only constant is the pace at which it changes.

We know this firsthand. Here at Lightspeed, we have been selectively investing in the space since March 2013 (we made our first investment in Ripple, then Blockchain a year later). Over the last 8 years, our pace of investing in fundamental crypto infrastructure and real applications of the technology has increased with 2021 seeing us invest nearly $500M to date across 40 blockchain/web3 deals (with a few more to be announced). Investments this year have included FTX, Solana, Terra, Alchemy, Parallel Finance, LedgerX, and more.

At Lightspeed, we believe the next cycle will bring mainstream adoption of blockchain as companies across consumer and enterprise adopt a web3 framework. As we look ahead to 2022, there are a number of areas we’ve developed strong theses in and are excited to closely follow:

  • As infrastructure software investors for the past 20+ years, we are also excited about the rise of web3 infrastructure, including new developer platforms, security, and insurance providers. Ethereum scalability is one of these core infrastructure areas with the rise of L2s, and we are excited to actively invest in this space.
  • We believe that the next generation of NFTs will be dominated by utility and gaming NFTs that provide functional value, NFTs that return something of value like tokens or revenue. This could include anything from character NFTs for online games (avatars) that let you earn tokens when you play with them to the NFT of a digital billboard that produces daily ad revenue to the NFT of a revenue-generating real estate asset.
  • We believe the next billion users will be onboarded in the next 5 years, and some of the best use cases are in gaming and social networks. To that end, we have invested in both in web2 for the last decade–Epic Games, Snap, Sharechat, and Splitgate to name a few. Gaming and social will likely look different in many ways in Web3.
  • We believe that web3 is a cultural and social phenomenon and applications in music, art, learning, sports, influencers and other areas will be crucial to its mass adoption.

Given our interest in the space, we wanted to share our favorite resources and what we’ve been reading the past few weeks. And as with any community, understanding the cultural ties, language, builders and supporters is vital to fully immersing and understanding the community. We hope you’ll enjoy it. We’ll continue to update this every few months so please reach out to us to share any of your favorite seminal resources that should be added.

— Team Lightspeed


Why This is Important

The Basics: Areas to Understand







L1 ecosystems

Application in Sectors



Art / NFTs






Lightspeed: Our Favorite DAO + NFT Communities

  • Amy: BAYC and FingerprintsDAO — both are amazing communities
  • Mercedes: My two favorite projects are Crypto Coven and Mad Realities. Both are female led communities with a focus on storytelling and entertainment. Crypto Coven’s community is designed around witches. Here’s a great article about how they built it. I’m a member and NFT holder of both!
  • Nicole — VeeFriends: a fascinating example of a creator fusing his community’s values with NFTs. I also love Autograph who is bringing NFTs to the masses through celebrities, starting with sports.

Additional Concepts + Deep Dives



Crypto Schools




Telegram Channels

Fave Twitter Handles

NFT Artists

Crypto Institutional Investors (alphabetical)

  • 3AC
  • A16z
  • Alameda Research (also market maker)
  • Animoca Brands
  • Binance Labs
  • Blockchain Capital
  • Blocktower
  • Coinbase Ventures
  • DCG
  • Delphi Digital
  • Dragonfly
  • Electric Capital
  • Framework
  • GoldenTree
  • Hypersphere
  • Jump Capital (also market maker)
  • Kingsway Capital
  • Lightspeed
  • Multicoin
  • Pantera
  • Paradigm
  • Parafi
  • Polychain
  • Redpoint
  • Ribbit
  • Sequoia
  • Standard Crypto


  • Jeff Engerman at Gunderson
  • Andy Albertson at Fenwick
  • Derek Colla at Cooley



  • Breakpoint Solana
  • Art Basel
  • Mainnet
  • Moonclave
  • ETHDenver
  • Devcon

Market Maps

DAO Tooling Landscape
NYC Blockchain Market Mapping, by Block Research
Lightspeed’s India & SEA Crypto Market Map

Mercedes Bent, Amy Wu, Natalie Luu, Nicole Quinn, Ravi Mhatre, Shan Shan

About Mercedes: Mercedes is an investor at Lightspeed Venture Partners. If you enjoyed this, follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn where she’s writing about web3's impact on pop culture, learning, and the future of income. If you’re a founder building in this space, feel free to drop a line:

About Lightspeed: Lightspeed is a multi-stage venture capital firm focused on accelerating disruptive innovations and trends in the Enterprise, Consumer, and Health sectors. Since 2000, Lightspeed has backed entrepreneurs and helped build companies of tomorrow, including Snap, Affirm, AppDynamics, FTX, Solana, Epic Games, and Cameo. Lightspeed and its affiliates currently manage $10.5B across the global Lightspeed platform, with investment professionals and advisors in Silicon Valley, Israel, India, China, Southeast Asia, and Europe.